CAAC: Further Upgrade Epidemic Prevention and Control Guidelines and Continue to Improve Measures against Imported Cases
On April 6, The Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council held a press conference, and briefed on the latest information on the prevention and control of imported cases pursuant to the law. Deputy Director General of the Department of Flight Standards of CAAC Han Guangzu mentioned in the conference that for the purpose of stepping up and optimizing control measures, the fourth edition of Preventing Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Guideline for Airlines and Airports has been issued. And since the policy of further reducing international passenger flights - each airline is only allowed to maintain single route to any specific country with no more than one flight per week – was in place, a total of 112 international passenger flights have been received with approximately 21,000 inbound passengers, and the daily passenger number has dropped below 3,000, which has effectively helped curb the imported risks.
Han Guangzu introduced that compared to the previous three editions, the fourth edition distinguished the grading standards for the risk levels of domestic and international flights, and added requirements for level-specific preventative management at airports. The latest Guideline also improved personal protective measures for crew members, and intensified prevention and control measures for incoming flights from severely affected countries (regions) and flights with passengers intended to transfer in domestic airports. In addition, the Guideline required foreign airlines serving China to also adopt measures accordingly. It has been clarified in particular that the last three rows of seats on all international flights should be reserved as emergency quarantine area, and lavatory in the right rear should be used exclusively by quarantined person; the risk of transfer flights shall be counted as the segment with higher scores; for passengers transferring in domestic airports who have lived or travelled abroad within the past 14 days, the airlines concerned should arrange them to board after others, wear masks throughout the flight, and sit at the back of the cabin at least two rows away from other passengers; airports with incoming flights from severely impacted countries should be subject to high-level prevention and control measures, such as setting up dedicated parking apron for them, simplifying boarding formalities, conducting non-contact boarding, setting up special passages and assigning designated person to monitor the passengers in a bid to prevent cross-infection at the airport.
Except for reducing international flights, CAAC also stipulated that all international flights bound for Beijing will be diverted to the twelve designated first points of entry since the end of March, regarding which Han Guangzu indicated that the adjustment of international flights is proceeding smoothly and orderly, and working procedures as well as response plans in these FPoE airports are gradually improving in these three weeks of practice. By April 5, 112 international flights bound for Beijing have been diverted, and FPoE airports have received 25,700 inbound passengers. The adjustment involves 18 countries.
Regarding public concerned issues such as whether temporary or charter flights will be arranged based on actual needs, Han Guangzu expressed that CAAC will follow the overall deployment of the central government to care for overseas Chinese, and put in place specific requirements given by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, such as activate major air transport protection mechanisms for overseas Chinese, and provide temporary flights or chartered flights for cities with concentrated demand and destinations with receiving capabilities. CAAC has organized airlines to be prepared. From March 4 to April 3, 11 temporary flights have been arranged to pick up 1,827 overseas Chinese in Iran, Italy, and Britain. Among them, 6 flights transported 976 Chinese back from Iran, 4 flights transported 670 back from Italy, and 1 flight transported 181 back from Britain, and most of these Chinese are students.
CAAC has previously suspended all the incoming business chartered flights, yet due to the changes of the international outbreak, the approval procedures of inbound business flights during the pandemic have been adjusted to become stricter. Since March 25, organizing entities that perform government designated inbound business flights shall provide certification issued by entities higher than ministerial and provincial-level; other inbound business flights shall provide letters of acceptance issued by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of local governments above the provincial level that governs the destination airport. At present, the number of daily inbound business flight is approximately three.
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